Playing it Safe: Preparing for Ontario’s Next Safety Blitz
Ontario’s Ministry of Labour recently completed its “safe operation of machinery blitz.” During a blitz, inspectors can show up unannounced at facilities across the province to ensure employers are taking action to protect their workers from the hazards associated with operating machinery.
Machinery Automation interviewed leading safety experts – including Vivian Wharton-Szatan, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour’s Co-Ordinator for the Industrial Health and Safety Program – for their advice on what inspectors are looking for and how you can prepare for inspections.
It’s important to make necessary improvements and take steps to guarantee machine safety – including having the right products on hand and policies in place – to be ready for the next safety blitz.
Take Steps to Guarantee Safety and Reduce Risks
Machines not properly locked or guarded during routine repairs, maintenance, and daily operation can cause serious injuries – possibly fatal – to those working on or around them.
“We want to make sure that we target those sectors to ensure that we can reduce the risk, with the ultimate goal of having the workers go home safe,” says Wharton-Szatan. She emphasizes that workplaces are ultimately responsible for identifying and remediating hazards.
To prepare for a safety blitz, focus on:
- Ensuring workers are not exposed to moving parts or pinch points on unguarded machinery
- Making sure machinery is locked and blocked out while maintenance is performed
- Eliminating risks of electrical contact, ensuring machinery is de-energized and locked out during repair
- Taking measures to address potential musculoskeletal disorder hazards involving guards
- Reviewing policies and programs in place to protect workers from hazards in the workplace
- Making sure the internal responsibility system (including health and safety representatives and committees) is active and functional
- Ensuring machines are up-to-date with the latest safety standards and regulations
To prepare for a possible inspection, Wharton-Szatan suggests employers have health and safety representatives conduct an inspection, casting a particularly “critical eye” on the areas inspectors will be checking.
Is your facility prepared? At Rotalec, our experts provide complete Machine Safe-Guarding services to bring your equipment up to compliant standards. Contact us today to learn more!
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